Monday, November 28, 2016

Today's wry thing.

Good morning, America.

This is the world we live in.

That we've lived in for a while.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Top Twenty?

I closed the store last night.  Day off today.  I fell asleep somewhere after 1.  I got woken up shortly after 8 with a text message notification.  Kinda figured it was work calling.  Instead, my sister asked: what are my top 5 favorite books.

You can't ignore an important question like that.  I answered after a few minutes thought.  But there were things I left out.

It's an exercise I've done before.  It's interesting to see what changes from year to year.  My Top 20 favorite books, at the moment.

Alphabetized by author or editor:

John Barth                    The Floating Opera
Jim Bouton                   Ball Four
Michael Chabon           The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Harlan Ellison              The Glass Teat
William Faulkner          Light in August
Neil Gaiman                 American Gods
Stephen King                Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
Stephen King                The Stand
Joe R. Lansdale            The Bottoms
Harper Lee                    To Kill a Mockingbird
Cormac McCarthy        The Road
David Mitchell             Cloud Atlas
Christopher Moore       The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove
Flannery O'Connor       Collected Stories
Charles Portis               True Grit
Tom Robbins                Still Life with Woodpecker
Carl Sagan                    The Demon Haunted World
Ferrol Sams                  Run with the Horsemen
John Kennedy Toole     Confederacy of Dunces
Mark Twain                  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Big One-Four

I've been doing this blogging thing for fourteen years.  FOURTEEN.

I work with people who are only slightly older.

It was fourteen years ago that a buddy gave me an address of a blog that was interesting at the time but has since become a repository for some really, really ugly, repugnant shit so I won't share its address here.  But, it was through that that I started this blogamathing.

Fourteen years.  Where do the times go?

Sheila and I were discussing a month or so ago, when her blog passed the milestone, that our blogs would be in the same grade.  There's probably going to be some kind of chaperoned date thing.  Which is good.  My blog needs a good influence.  Something to get its mind off fart jokes and pro wrestling.

Was surprised with a three-day weekend, coincidentally.  This is the busy time of year, with Thanksgiving coming, and I was preparing myself to not have a weekend until 2017 when this one popped up on the schedule.  Then, another manager needed to switch days, so I ended up with Friday off, as well.

Wandered out to my first Knoxville Ice Bears game of the season.  My nephew went:

The Ice Bears lost to the Macon Mayhem after a chippy game.  Of note: seeing former Ice Bears enforcer Dennis Sicard, now playing for the Mayhem, tie it up with his former teammate Brad Pawlowski, and having the two come out of the tangle laughing....

Wandered out last night to see The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band at Barley's.  I've only gotten to see them play a 20-minute set at the old Scenic City Roots show in Chattanooga.  Was good to get them for a full set.  We sat off to the side, but I ended up liking those seats as much as any.  Got to see Jill and Chris for the first time in ages.  Being a grownup is hard....

Also saw Jesse Dayton play.  They were a lot of fun.  I recommend:

And today, we play in Chattanooga's City Trivia Final.  There may be money.  There will also be Pimento Cheese Fritters......


I don't write here as much as I used to, but sometimes I scratch the itch.  I appreciate those of you who continue to stop by, from time to time.  I appreciate the friendships I've made as a result of this blog.  Thanks for reading, guys....

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Day After.

I'm disappointed.  In us.  In the electoral process.  I'm disheartened.

I don't think Hillary would have been a great choice.

But she wouldn't have been a catastrophe.  Trump is a catastrophe on a global scale waiting to happen.

I'm sure that if you voted for him, you had your reasons.  I'm sure that in many cases, they were weighed and given their due amount of thought.  I'm sure this was not a decision made lightly.

You were wrong.

If you voted for him:  You will regret the choice.

We will all regret the choice.

The best case scenario is that he only feeds the legislative logjam in Congress, is unable to work with them to push through legislation, refuses to give up the seat, and is an embarrassment, and is voted out of office in 2020.  Also, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has to stay alive.  I'm sorry, Ruth.

That's the best that can happen.

The worst is unimaginable.

At the end of the day, though, I think my issue is not so much with the government that is coming.  My issue is with the people who supported it.  Who asked for it.  With the people who said that it is OK to act like a bigoted gobshite, and an ignorant blowhard.  It is OK to demean others.  It is OK to say that certain groups of people are Bad.  You may not believe it.  But you enabled it.

You were wrong.

We have lived for many years now in a culture that believes it is better to speak loudly and say nothing than it is to speak softly, with great thought.  And this is the result.

It is wrong.

That is why I am disappointed.

We let it happen.

We're better than this.

An admission:

I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton.

I didn't vote for Donald Trump.

I voted for Gary Johnson.  He's a bad choice, too.  I had my reasons.  I will detail them, if asked, but the short answer was that my vote was one of protest against the machine that chooses candidates the way it does.  Looking back, they do not feel like good reasons.

I've tended to vote for third party candidates, and for much the same reason.  I haven't voted for a Democrat or Republican for President since 2000.

In Tennessee, it didn't matter.  It wouldn't have changed things.  Trump won in a landslide in Tennessee.  I haven't seen the totals for McMinn County, but I'd figure he probably pulled 80 % of the vote here.  (edit:  78.49 according to The Tennessean)

I will spend some time thinking about my stance.  I'm not saying it'll change, but it'll get a lot of thought over the next few years.

Last thought, and apropos of little, I guess. We have a Coinstar machine at work.  It usually gets a workout at the end of the month, but it seemed to be going nonstop yesterday.  At one point, there was a line.  At the machine was a lady in a Hillary Clinton t-shirt.  In line behind her, a young man in wearing a Make America Great Again cap.  I wish I had a picture.  It struck me funny, though, seeing the two sides at the same trough, cashing in their coins.  Somehow, it fit.

Monday, November 07, 2016


I realized I haven't written on the Blogamathing about the Cubs winning the World Series.

Dying hobby, and whatnot.

I watched Game 7 at home.  By myself.  Because, frankly, I wasn't fit to be around people.  We watched Games 3 and 4 over at Eric's, and I was piss poor company for each of those games.

Relief, is what I felt that night, and still feel.  Finally.  Happiness.  Goofiness.  But relief.

I think Bill Murray's picture here illustrates that.

I wrote this over on ye olde facebooke:

"I don't think it'll hit me until tomorrow. I'm just kinda goofy right now.
That 7-year-old who started watching the Cubs after school around the same time he started playing tee-ball didn't understand that train he was getting on. He definitely didn't understand that watching the ball shoot between Leon Durham's legs in 1984 was one of a handful of heartbreaks that would break up years-long droughts.
I don't know why I hung on. Except for some weird wiring for loyalty in my innards.
Folks would ask, after the much needed rebuilding started, how I thought they would do, especially after their run in 2015. I've never been a "they're gonna win it all!" guy. Call it a flaw in my personality, call it an unwillingness to put all the eggs in a basket. Call it having seen what happens when you believe too hard. Call it knowing how that hurts, even if it is just a game....
All I would ever admit was that 2016 was going to be an interesting year.
It was a helluva ride. And that little curly-headed kid finally got to see his team win the Big One.
Game 7 was for the kid in all of us, though. With a little distance, that may have become the best game I've ever seen, regardless of outcome. I think it's safe in the catbird seat now, given the win...
My hat's off to Cleveland. They deserved it, too. And I believe they'll get one sooner rather than later.

It was fantastic.  I stayed up until 3, just watching stuff.  I slept nearly nine hours.  Maybe the best night of sleep I've gotten in a month.

I've been riding that Cubs train since 1984.  And like I said, I don't know why I stayed, except for that wiring for loyalty in my noggin

It was amazing.  And today, five days after, I still get a smile when I think about it.

I expect I will all offseason.

Election Day T-Minus 1

We're electing a President and a few much more important offices tomorrow.

I've voted already.  Week before last while I was on vacation.

I won't wander off into personal politics, except to say that I tend to vote against the incumbent, regardless of stripe.

As such, I voted for Melody Shekari in my U.S. House race (Tennessee House District 3, if you're curious), over Cigar Store Politician Chuck Fleishchman.

I don't have a particular gripe with Fleischmann, aside from his kneejerk pandering to the party line and his being a man incapable of independent thought.  His fearmongering TV ads during the Republican primary, where his opponents were looking to take away benefits from veterans, up to and including snatching their wheelchairs out from under their users, were repulsive.  It was Mick Foley style cheap heat from a man who doesn't know how to be personable.  He is a man who doesn't know how to smile.

Maybe I'm just bitter that he hasn't taken up my suggestion to hire Ed Helms as a stand-in.

But even if he weren't a repulsive cardboard cutout of a candidate, I'd vote against him based on a tendency to vote against the incumbent.  I voted for Melody Shekari.  I probably don't stand with her on everything...her website is as vanilla as Fleischmann's actually.  Here's a ballotpedia rundown of her stances.  Here's a quick profile of her.  It asks all the hard-hitting questions like "What's the last movie you saw in the theater?" and "Go-To Karaoke song?"

Still, it does ask her favorite non-chain restaurant in Chattanooga, her answer is Terminal Brewhouse.  I respect that answer, as Terminal does good work and has great beer.  I think my answer, for Chattanooga, is Urban Stack, but I'm not the one running for Congress.

I dunno.  The House and Senate races are generally more interesting to me.  It's aggravating that we can't seem to dig up a decent challenger to Fleischmann.  I'd say Fleischmann will poll a good 75% of the vote....

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

November Baseball

Stress eating hummus.  It hit 88 degrees at Casa de Big Stupid Tommy today.  There is important baseball on.  It is indeed an interesting world....